Constant God in a Changing World

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by Calven Celliers

Change is inevitable! Inevitable meaning unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped (try as we might), and it happens whether you like it or not. As any parent knows, you quickly learn the importance of establishing some structure in your children’s lives. Children thrive on routine. And when things change they are quick to let you know that they don’t like it. If we’re completely honest with ourselves, we as adults don’t like change either. We like things to be familiar and predictable. We like to know what to expect when we wake up each morning. But realistically life is constantly changing. When such changes enter our life, it’s overwhelming, confusing, even terrifying. As we’ve all learnt over the past few months, we can go to bed at night to one reality and wake up to a completely different life. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic: Life will never be the same again. I don’t know about you, but I find the very thought quite unsettling as I long for the days of old. Change can make us feel lost and abandoned, like we’ve been tossed overboard in the midst of a storm. We’re left reeling, trying to grab ahold of anything we can find that’s strong and stable.

I was recently reading a secular article in which the author was chatting about the unpredictability of the world we currently find ourselves in, and he made the following statement “Change is the only constant in this life” and whilst I get exactly what the guy was saying, I found myself becoming increasingly grateful at the awesome truth that we serve an unchanging God in an ever changing world. 

He is our constant in this life and the next. While I might not know what tomorrow holds, praise Jesus I know who holds tomorrow. As we all encounter major changes, not only in our individual lives, but in the world around us, may our hope always be in Him.

The Bible tells us that God never changes.

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6RSV)

The influences that cause change in your life have no effect on God. He will never be stronger or weaker. His knowledge and wisdom will not increase or diminish. God does not compromise or change His values. God does not have mood swings. There is no inconsistency in God.  Life and its uncertainties may shake you, but God-the Rock of Ages-does not move. If you cling to Him, His strength will sustain you.

 God’s unchanging purpose gives you eternal significance. Psalm 33:11 states, 11 …the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.” (Psalm 33:11NLT)

God’s plan is unchangeable. It existed at the beginning of creation and remains the same today. And you are part of His plan! The apostle Paul sates this quite clearly when he wrote to the Church at Ephesus saying,  10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10NLT)

God’s unchangeable ways assure you of unwavering guidance. King David said in Psalm 18, 30 God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.” (Psalm 18:30NLT)

God’s principles for life never change. His guidelines, given in Scripture, produce fruitful lives when you follow them.

And because God never changes, His Word never changes. All that He has said about Himself remains true forever. God’s unchanging Word equips you with timeless truth. Isaiah declared, “The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8). God’s words and commands are timeless.

And because His Word never changes, His promises for us remain true. God’s unchanging commitment guarantees everlasting security. If you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can be assured of eternal life. God is eternally committed to your redemption, your spiritual growth, and your eternal destiny. God’s commitment to you is as strong as He is eternally constant. The storms of life are continually changing, but God remains the same. He is consistent and reliable. He is your anchor. You can count on God because He never changes. When everything in life seems flipped upside down, we can say with the psalmist,

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
(Psalm 46: 1& 2NIV)

Things will continue to change — in the world around us and in our lives. Some of those changes will feel like a tiny ripple, and others feel like a ten-foot wave. But no matter what changes we face, we need not fear. We need not hide. We need not despair. Our rock and anchor is our unchanging God, whose character and promises remain fixed forever.

Remember, we don’t’ get to choose when change will come. We do, however, get to choose what we believe when it does.

 

Yours,

Calven

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Story

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Guest Post

by Herman Groenewald

Story is on of the earliest communication forms, it is found in every people and culture, it is still one that has great power. The Bible is not just a compilation of many stories, it is actually one commanding story.

To many the Bible seems distant and elusive, and they struggle to understand the intent of God’s Story and its relationship to their own time and their daily lives. So, the key becomes of connecting their experiences, circumstances and placing it in the context of their lifestyles. Using a parable story to get a message across.

What I have often used, is what I call the story of the orange. It so happens it is the only food we share sometimes on our mission trips to the Kalahari Bushmen. I take bags of oranges on the trips.

Once we have shared a story from one of our mission team I then use an orange. I hand it to one of the children. Before they peel it, I tell them it is like a story of God’s Word. We call it the Bible. Now I tell them it is no good if we do not open it share, read, understand and believe.

I ask them to peel the orange. Now I stop them to say, now it is like Gods stories of which there are many. I ask them to divide the orange but not yet to eat it. Now I tell them it represents Gods stories, but we cannot be selfish, we need to share it with others. That is why God has given it, to be shared. Now they hand out the orange. I explain that when they now eat it, it is like taking in the word of God and that it feeds our body, our mind and our goal. Now we ask them to repeat the first story they were told.

Amazing how a simple parable works!

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:3)

A Prayer of Faith

Omniscient God of love and grace, just as you called Abraham, you call us to rise up in Faith and to follow you. A challenge to live expectantly and to embrace the unknown. You call us to travel on a road with no known address. You call us to a faith without security.

We want to stay amongst those we know and love, but you call us to move forward. We are pilgrims searching for the City of which You are the Architect.

We thank you for the heroes of Faith and mentors who have been examples to us in our pilgrimage.

Help us to complete the race of Faith with perseverance, our eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

AMEN

 

Blessings

Herman

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There’s Nothing Better than God

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by Luke Kincaid

While working today I came across an amazing song which you can find at the end of this blog by Elevation Worship. I must have listened to at least 10 times before writing this up and am still currently listening to it! The reason why I am enjoying it so much is because of the incredible truth contained in the chorus which simply says:

“Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You
(Oh, yes I know it’s true)”

And this got me thinking, “There really isn’t anything or anyone better than our God!” While I already knew this to be true this was one of those reminders that hits you right in the heart and shakes you awake! There is nothing better than the God we serve and worship. He is enough and He is worthy to be praised. Here are some scriptures which highlight this truth:

There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Jeremiah 10:6

O Lord, there is none like You,
nor is there any God besides You,
according to all that we have heard with our ears.
1 Chronicles 17:20

There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
 nor is there any rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2:2

This is the God we have the incredible privilege of knowing, following, and worshipping. I am so grateful for this reminder today and I trust it will speak to some of you too.

Much love,

Luke

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Overcoming

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by Graham Mol

This past weekend I enjoyed watching the first (real life) Formula 1 Grand Prix of 2020. For sports fans it has been a long, in fact unprecedented, drought of sporting events but bit by bit the games, matches and races have started up again. I got to thinking about why so many of us enjoy participating in and spectating sporting events. Why is it that sports matter so much to us? What is it about competition that appeals to us? How could a bunch of people running around on a field chasing a ball be so compelling? It seems so frivolous when you put it like that.

And yet when you’re in the University Volleyball Championship playing for 5th place against last year’s winners, many of whom are part of the national team, going down to the last tie-breaking set, it feels like a fight of life or death. The euphoria of getting that winning point is an feeling like no other… well, from my experience anyway!

The thing about sports, and all forms of competing, from the most physical to the most intellectual or creative, is that they all involve this element of overcoming. Overcoming the opponent, the other team, or the obstacle and challenge or even overcoming yourself, your own limitations.

There is something  in each of us that is drawn to overcoming. We strive to win the battles we face in life and we celebrate with others who do the same. The drama of sport and competition appeals to us because we all long for that feeling of victory. For some it may be in becoming world champions, for others it may just be finishing that dauntingly long marathon. God has placed in the human heart a desire to overcome.

This is why the Gospel is the greatest story ever told. In Jesus we have our champion who took on the power of sin and death and won. He overcame the greatest threat and challenge to our eternal happiness. Christ laid down His life for our sake, you could say He took one for the team, and then rose again victorious, undefeated, champion of the world.

Here is the awesome truth. We need not only be spectators in this game of literal life and death. We too can share in the victory. Paul says the following in Romans 8:37

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Through Christ we can overcome the challenges and obstacles that we face in life. Through Christ we can overcome the enemy. By His Spirit we will overcome the Coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest disruptions and threats that we have experienced in our lifetimes.

If we read Paul’s statement in context an even more beautiful picture of victory emerges:

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Not only do we overcome the challenges of life through Christ, we have victory over death and sin itself. Through Jesus we have been made right with God and nothing will ever separate us from His love. No challenge, no threat or difficulty will ever be able to do so. In Jesus, we are not just conquerors of the things of this life, we are more than conquerors. Our future and hope is secured in Christ alone.

May you be encouraged by this amazing truth.

 

God Bless

Graham

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